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Medical Support

Per Federal and State law, the Office of Child Support Services is obligated to secure medical coverage or a cash medical order in every child support case. If the child is receiving Rite Care or Rite share benefits from the State of RI or other type of medical assistance, the Office of Child Support Services must pursue the non custodial parent for private medical coverage for the child if it is provided to the non custodial parent as part of his employment at no cost or at reasonable cost.

How does it work?

When a custodial parent completes a Rite care application, and is eligible for Rite care, the case is automatically referred to the Office of Child Support Services. It is imperative that all information about the non custodial parent be provided on the application. If the correct, complete information is not provided, the custodial parent will be required to attend an appointment at the Office of Child Support Services to provide all information and to provide the birth certificate for the child. Paternity must be established for the child before a medical order can be obtained.

If the custodial parent was married when the child was born, or within 300 days of the termination of the marriage, the husband, by law, is presumed to be the father of the child. The Child Support representative requires complete information about the husband. If the parties were divorced, a divorce decree stating that the husband is not the father of the child, must be provided or the agency will still pursue the husband, If the custodial parent was not married at the time of the child's birth, all information about the biological father must be provided including full name, date of birth, address, social security number, place of employment and other helpful information.

If the custodial parent is not receiving RI Works benefits, she can choose to pursue child support services along with medical services. However, medical services must be provided if the child is receiving Rite care benefits and the custodial parent must cooperate with the Office of Child Support Services to locate the non custodial parent, establish paternity and establish a medical order.

When will the Court order that private medical coverage be provided?

The Court will order that private medical coverage be provided if the non custodial parent has medical coverage available through his employer at no cost or at a reasonable cost. Reasonable cost means that the coverage for the minor child is less than, or equal, to 5% of his gross income per month. Once medical coverage is ordered, the employer will be notified through the use of the National Medical Notice to enroll the child in the plan. The custodial parent then must present the private coverage insurance information to the physician . The child might be entitled to some wrap around services in addition to the private coverage.

If the Court finds that the coverage would cost the non custodial parent more than 5% of his gross income per month, the Court may order the non custodial parent to pay 5%, in addition to the child support monthly order. This would be taken directly form the employee's income and mailed to the RI Family Court This serves to contribute to the cost of Rite care coverage that the State of RI pays. A custodial parent providing private medical coverage through her employer would receive the weekly cash contribution towards medical if the Court so ordered.

What if the custodial parent does not want the non custodial parent's private coverage?

If the child is on Rite care or Rite share the custodial parent assigns her rights to the state. That means it is the state's decision to go forward. The custodial parent cannot make that decision and must cooperate with the Office of Child Support Services.